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Threat Intelligence

1/13/2020
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Texas School District Loses $2.3M to Phishing Attack

The Manor Independent School District is investigating a phishing email scam that led to three separate fraudulent transactions.

The Manor Independent School District (MISD), located roughly 15 miles outside Austin, Texas, has confirmed it's investigating a phishing email scam that amounted to $2.3 million in losses.

MISD, which serves 9,600 students, published a statement about the attack via Twitter on January 10. Director of communications Angel Vidal Jr. says the Manor Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation are still looking into the incident and reportedly have "strong leads."

The statement contains few details about the attack itself; however, the Manor Police Department shared some more insight with Austin news outlet KVUE. Detective Anne Lopez says the incident was made up of three separate transactions. MISD did not realize the bank account information had been altered; as a result, it sent three payments over the course of one month before recognizing the recipient bank account was fraudulent.

Lopez's statement could indicate business email compromise (BEC), a type of threat in which attackers manipulate victims into wiring money or changing bank account details. BEC attacks spiked 269% last year, Mimecast found, and they can easily slip past email security protections.

Read more details here.

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